John Blackburn, graduate of Warrior Week 52, joins Coach Sam in today’s episode of Warrior Week: Parables From the Pit. We learn about the very special person who loved John unconditionally, why that person was so important to him, and how he continues honoring their relationship inside of his life and business today.

Parable #1: No More Secrets

  • John was introduced to Warrior via one of his best friends who had been through Warrior Week himself and dubbed it as one of the most emotionally and physically difficult experiences of his life.
  • The first thirty days into the build-up of Warrior Week was one of the most interesting, eye-opening, and liberating experiences for John. He was ultimately thrown into a pod with 16 other men where they shared their deepest, darkest secrets with coaches calling them out on their shit for not being completely truthful and honest.

Why are men uncomfortable telling the truth?

Parable #2: Anchors

  • The first night in the Pit was very emotional for John as he carried his sandbag filled with guilt, shame, and fear, dragging it along like an anchor. The weight he had been carrying was the guilt and shame around his marriage, his father, and his mother.
  • The heaviest pain he was carrying was the loss of his mother, who was John’s best friend. “She was in my corner all my life. I watched her suffer for ten years, as she wanted to be alive to watch me get married and have kids. I was her reason to live.”

What anchors are you carrying that are weighing you down?

Parable #3: Going to War For Your Wife

  • Warrior Week was a game-changer for John. Not only did he find his power, but it was also a place to step up, shed the weight of guilt and shame, and get clear.
  • One of the biggest shifts for John was the realization that he wanted to be married to his wife for the rest of his life. “I have 100% gone to war for this woman and have left it all on the field. It feels fucking fantastic not to hold anything back.”

What evidence do you have in your life that shows you have actually gone to war for your wife?

Parable #4: Light on Earth

  • John’s mother showed up in an unconditional manner day in and day out, no matter what he did or what was going on. “I always knew there was nothing I could do that would take her love and support away from me and what I was doing.”
  • “Reflecting on the moments together, I can’t remember a time in our interaction when there wasn’t love present. She always had an open heart, and her ability to give and share love in any situation was her light on this earth.”

How does it feel to be around people who spread light wherever they go?

Parable #5: Unconditional Love

  • Pam, John’s mother, delivered joy inside of her heart despite the horrible complexity of her situation. She was able to cultivate joy inside of John’s heart during her ten-year illness. The biggest git he received from her was that of unconditional love.
  • The lessons John gleaned from his mother have immensely affected how he shows up in his marriage, particularly around unconditional love, where saying yes to your spouse means that no conditions are placed on the love that you give and show them.

What conditions do you place on your loved ones? How can you begin letting go of those conditions?

Parables from the Pit

“It’s a one-way deposit.”

Sam Falsafi

“You married this person for who they are, not for who they are going to become in the future.”

–John Blackburn



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